Self-Esteem: What it is and how can you improve it

Sunday, 7 February 2016 - 12:18pm

To look after our health we believe that it’s important to take a holistic approach which includes focusing on our physical and psychological wellbeing. As part of our 12 week programme our friends at Lifespan Counselling present workshops for our teens and their families to help with emotional fitness. One of the areas of focus is Self-esteem. Here are a few key points that you may find helpful.

What is Self-esteem?

Self-esteem is the way we see and think about ourselves and is the degree to which we value or approve of ourselves. It is important to add that it is our opinion about ourselves so when we have a good opinion of ourself we have high self-esteem and conversely, we have a low self-esteem when we have a low opinion of ourselves. The good news for those with a low self-esteem is that it can be changed at any age.

It is a combination of self-image (what we perceive ourselves to be), our ideal self (how we want to be) and what we believe others think of us. All the experiences and interpersonal relationships we’ve had in our lives contribute to how our self-esteem is made up.

Why is good self-esteem important?

People with positive self-esteem have confidence, tend to have a happier life and are generally more positive in the way they think, feel and behave. With more confidence you are able to take on challenges, you recognise your good qualities and are able to respond to others in a healthy and positive way. The main outcome of having a good self-esteem is your ability to have more control in your life and what you want out of it.

Social Media

Social media can be fun and a great way to connect and communicate with friends and family. BUT be careful not to compete or compare to others or measure your success by the success of others. Remember that other’s posts are only a snapshot of what they want you to see!

Our prescription for you...

Practice positive self-talk

Make a conscious decision to encourage and not criticise yourself. This may not come naturally so you will need to practise and try to catch yourself when the negative talk creeps in.

Here are some examples for you to use:

“I believe in myself”   “I am capable”   “I’ll give it a go”   “I’m going to get better at this”
“I am strong”   “I’m improving every day”   “I am loved”   “I am enough”

Tips for self-esteem

  • Focus on your positive qualities
  • Become a positive self-talker
  • Have a good attitude
  • Try new things
  • Practice your talents
  • Exercise and eat well
  • Go for accomplishments - not perfection!

This article is designed for educational purposes only. The information provided here should not be used for the purposes of diagnosing or treating a medical or psychiatric illness. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.